The Reform Group’s next concern is the “Freehold Bid”. The story of this bid has been much discussed elsewhere although the full details of how the WSRA came to make the bid are far from clear. Also not clear is the role of the “WSRA negotiator” (as he is described by the Reform Group).

To us, the BBC’s “Inside Out” programme dealt mainly with the Councillor’s behaviour and also gave some insight into the “negotiator’s” earlier proposal to the Plc, thankfully rejected, but which if sucessfully concluded would have destroyed most of the WSR’s treasured heritage.

In our view, the programme completely failed to clarify in a similar way the remit of the “negotiator” on behalf of the Trustees, and any gains for the “negotiator”.

Members might ask what did the “negotiator” hope to gain from playing a part in a successful WSRA bid for the freehold – would the treasured heritage again be at risk in the pursuit of profits from non-heritage-railway activities? Was this the reason for lack of consultation? Or is it all a red herring? Annoyingly, the WSRA Chairman’s statement does not discuss the freehold bid and so members are none the wiser.

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